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Old 31st July 2008, 19:31   #721
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Default English Grammar

The following question was given to my 9th standard daughter.

In the first line, the marked word was corrected for example. The corrected word is the one after the hyphen. The remaining words to be corrected were to be identified and corrected. I have marked the 'to be corrected' words. They are to be corrected along the lines of the first correction.

Since there is a dispute between our correct words and the teacher's ones, could you people take a little time and try to give answers.

Plastic bags *are* not to be used because - should
they *should* cause much pollution. - a)
They *need* never disintegrate with - b)
time. They *should* block the sewerage. - c)
It *need* be melted and reprocessed - d)
but that *might* make it even more - e)
harmful. Even if buried, they *can* - f)
never be destroyed. They *should* be - g)
useful today but they *would* be - h)
very harmful for the coming generation.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 31st July 2008, 23:04   #722
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Plastic bags *should* not to be used because - should
they *can* cause much pollution. - a)
They *might* never disintegrate with - b)
time. They *could* block the sewerage. - c)
It *can* be melted and reprocessed - d)
but that *might* make it even more - e) might is fine. 'could' could be ok too
harmful. Even if buried, they *might* - f)
never be destroyed. They *might* be - g)
useful today but they *will* be - h)
very harmful for the coming generation.

I think that's the best I can do with a rather poor piece of writing anyway. Quite a lot of plastic does biodegrade quite quickly; some plastic buried in landfills might still be there in a million year's time.

How come the plastic bags, they, suddenly became an 'it' ('plastic', one assumes, but one shouldn't have to assume).

Tell the teacher, could do better!
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Old 31st July 2008, 23:14   #723
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post

How come the plastic bags, they, suddenly became an 'it' ('plastic', one assumes, but one shouldn't have to assume).
sounds like the sewerage could be melted
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Old 1st August 2008, 13:26   #724
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Hi Thad,

> Tell the teacher, could do better!

You can't tell that to your English teacher who has put this question in a test and is already disputing the answers given by my daughter. She has to continue in that school!

> but that *might* make it even more - e) might is fine. 'could' could be ok too

It *has* to be corrected.

Last edited by trrk : 1st August 2008 at 13:27.
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Old 1st August 2008, 13:45   #725
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trrk, this *might* be of interest to you. It *could* be and *should* be, actually!
There are some schools (still!) that teach their students correct English.
There is a tutor in Delhi who holds classes to make these students 'unlearn' sufficient english to secure 90% plus in the Class XII Board Exams!
They would otherwise, perhaps, have been looking at 70 or 75% in the English paper.
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Old 1st August 2008, 15:38   #726
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Melted and re-processed sewer!

Yuck!
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Old 1st August 2008, 16:28   #727
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Hi anup,

> There are some schools (still!) that teach their students correct English.

Unfortunately there is a limit to our choice of schools and teachers. So I correct whatever I can and tell my daughter to have both versions in her mind so that she can use the teacher's version in school.

> There is a tutor in Delhi who holds classes to make these students 'unlearn' > sufficient english to secure 90% plus in the Class XII Board Exams!

He would be making a lot considering the standards.

I was born and brought up here and started off in a Malayalam medium school. If at all my English is any good, it was because of my reading habits until the late 90s after which TV has taken up my reading time to my detriment.

> Plastic bags *are* not to be used because - should
> they *should* cause much pollution. - a)
> They *need* never disintegrate with - b)
> time. They *should* block the sewerage. - c)
> It *need* be melted and reprocessed - d)
> but that *might* make it even more - e)
> harmful. Even if buried, they *can* - f)
> never be destroyed. They *should* be - g)
> useful today but they *would* be - h)
> very harmful for the coming generation.

My daughters correction (inside the stars):

Plastic bags *are* not to be used because - should
they *could* cause much pollution. - a) would
They *would* never disintegrate with - b)
time. They *would* block the sewerage. - c)
It *could* be melted and reprocessed - d)
but that *could* make it even more - e) would
harmful. Even if buried, they *could* - f)
never be destroyed. They *might* be - g) would
useful today but they *could* be - h)
very harmful for the coming generation.

I differed with my daughter in three places - a, e and g. The teacher has marked my daughter's a, b, g and h as wrong.
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Old 1st August 2008, 17:03   #728
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My take, but with the focus on the plastic instead of language:

a, b, c - no words required.
d - can
e - would, since re-cycled plastic will get coarser, and less suitable for further recycling
f - can. 'could' is milder.
g - may/might.
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Old 1st August 2008, 18:20   #729
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Originally Posted by ajitkommini View Post
Ok, I do get the joke, but I dont think Price and Worth are the same at all. Worth is the intrinsic value of something - not necessarily measurable in monetary terms. Price is a much narrower attribute - referring to monetary value only.

The price of something may be much different than what it is actually worth (e.g. because it is an antique or was owned by somebody famous).
Like many concepts price and worth have more than one meaning. Some of the meanings are exactly the same, some are different. You will see this time and time again in English and other languages between synonyms. Just because two words are synonyms does not mean that all their meanings are identical and hence their usage is often not interchangeable.

If you brought an old gold watch to a jeweler for his apraisal you would ask him, "What is the worth of this watch?"

He would say, "This watch is worth 15000 rupees."

But if you instead asked him, "What is the price of this watch?" He would look at you in a very confused way and say, "I do not know what you mean. It is not my watch, it is yours. You tell me, sir, what the price of it is."

But, again, if you instead asked him, "What is a proper price for this watch?" He would know exactly what you mean. In this case you are referring to the watch in a generic sense. You are referring to the price of all watches of this kind and condition, not just this particular watch. His answer might be, "A fair market price for this watch is 15000 rupees."

Consider bring and take. It makes sense to say, "I take my clothes to the laundry." and, "I bring my clothes to the laundry."

One might conclude from the above that take and bring have exactly the same meaning. But then consider, "I take two teaspoonfuls of sugar in my tea." You can not correctly also say, "I bring two teaspoonfuls of sugar in my tea." If you say such a thing to English speakers they will not understand you. Here take and bring are not interchangeable, they have different meanings. They are, however, synonyms.

End of lecture.

Last edited by DirtyDan : 1st August 2008 at 18:23. Reason: @@
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Old 1st August 2008, 18:43   #730
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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Like many concepts price and worth have more than one meaning. Some of the meanings are exactly the same, some are different. You will see this time and time again in English and other languages between synonyms. Just because two words are synonyms does not mean that all their meanings are identical and hence their usage is often not interchangeable.

If you brought an old gold watch to a jeweler for his apraisal you would ask him, "What is the worth of this watch?"

He would say, "This watch is worth 15000 rupees."

But if you instead asked him, "What is the price of this watch?" He would look at you in a very confused way and say, "I do not know what you mean. It is not my watch, it is yours. You tell me, sir, what the price of it is."

But, again, if you instead asked him, "What is a proper price for this watch?" He would know exactly what you mean. In this case you are referring to the watch in a generic sense. You are referring to the price of all watches of this kind and condition, not just this particular watch. His answer might be, "A fair market price for this watch is 15000 rupees."
Its funny but priceless and worthless mean exactly the opposite. Even though price and worth have similar meanings.
Similarly, although fat and thin mean exactly the opposite, 'fat chance' and 'thin chance' mean the same!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Consider bring and take. It makes sense to say, "I take my clothes to the laundry." and, "I bring my clothes to the laundry."

One might conclude from the above that take and bring have exactly the same meaning. But then consider, "I take two teaspoonfuls of sugar in my tea." You can not correctly also say, "I bring two teaspoonfuls of sugar in my tea." If you say such a thing to English speakers they will not understand you. Here take and bring are not interchangeable, they have different meanings. They are, however, synonyms.

End of lecture.
'You take your clothes to the laundry' when you are away from the laundry. (At home for example)
'You bring your clothes to the laundry' when you are at the laundry.
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Old 1st August 2008, 19:05   #731
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Originally Posted by PhrozenFire View Post
Its funny but priceless and worthless mean exactly the opposite. Even though price and worth have similar meanings.
Similarly, although fat and thin mean exactly the opposite, 'fat chance' and 'thin chance' mean the same!



'You take your clothes to the laundry' when you are away from the laundry. (At home for example)
'You bring your clothes to the laundry' when you are at the laundry.
Genrally this is true but not always. When you are home you take your clothes to the laundry. When you are home you bring your clothes to the laundry. No difference in meaning here. The common thread is that clothes get transported to the laundry. In this usage, above, they are obviously synonyms.

Yeah, flamable and inflamable mean the same thing. It's a difficult language. May providence curse the British and Americans for inflicting it upon the world. It is simply indispensable in the technical world, blast it!
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Old 1st August 2008, 19:10   #732
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Quite... Take and bring are opposites when it comes to clothes and laundries. They imply direction.

Bring me the book from that table

Take this tea to the garden.


But if you are both going together, then you can say to your friend, Bring your tea; we'll go in to the garden.

Taking two sugars is different, because it is an idiom. Even though it may involve taking it from the jar and bringing it to the tea, we always speak of taking sugar. In this context it is equivalent to do you want sugar in your tea? How much sugar would you like in your tea?

Do you take sugar? is a common way of putting it. You are not actually asking if your guest is to be trusted in the kitchen!!!

One also takes a drug, or takes a particular dosage of a drug. An upper-class usage is to take, rather than have, or eat, lunch[eon].

English is very flexible, and it is often a mistake, as perhaps in the school exercise example, to say that any one answer is the right one.
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Old 1st August 2008, 19:30   #733
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Do you 'take a bath', 'have a bath' or simply 'bathe'? Or are all three correct?
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Old 1st August 2008, 20:52   #734
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Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
May providence curse the British and Americans for inflicting it upon the world.
As I have pointed out earlier, and I will quote George Mikes, "Two hundred years ago, a decision was taken that English would be the official language of the United States of America. It is not known, however, why the decision was never implemented".
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Old 1st August 2008, 21:11   #735
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Hey, PhrozenFire, Take a Hike!

No, of course I don't really mean that --- actually, I think that one is US idiom, isn't it?

All three of your bath examples are fine, however bathe also suggests sea, swimming, etc. In fact, you can, even more simply, bath.

out of the two verbs:

bath would not be in the sea, and would usually indicate lying in a tub of water, as opposed to showering.

bathe
tends to suggest pleasure rather than cleanliness, but not exclusively.

Anup: my favourite is England and USA; two countries divided by a common language! There are so many differences!

I have a theory, by the way, that, leaving aside numbers, the most widely spoken language in the world just might be Tamil. My theory is based on the very unscientific method of finding that my Sri Lankan friends in London seem to have friends all over the world.
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